Autumn Blues

I know, I know; blue isn’t a colour traditionally associated with Autumn. I know that for most people it’s all about orange, red and brown crunchy leaves, fully PJs and adding pumpkin spice to absolutely everything, but not to me.

I dislike Autumn and I absolutely hate winter. I dread this time of year in pretty much the same way that I dread dentist appointments. I fret about it for weeks in advance, and always go into it expecting the worst. Unlike most of my trips to the dentist though, Autumn/Winter aren’t over in five minutes.

Thanks to my cerebral palsy, this time of year sucks. My aches and pains increase 10-fold (sometimes literally), my poor circulation makes my feet so cold they hurt, and it gets harder and harder for me to leave the house on my own thanks to the slippery fallen leaves/wind/ice/snow that a lot of the people I know IRL seem to love so much.

I’m always the coldest person in a room, which isn’t helped by having to use my wheelchair more and more. Believe me, you get colder than you might think when you’re just sitting there being whipped by the falling leaves/wind/ice/snow that everyone else seems to love so much.

I’m already starting to feel it and the fn’s only just begun for this year, and I’m already not sure I have the mental and physical energy to deal with it.

I wish I could join in with the excitement, but I can’t.

 

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When I don’t have a wheat bag

Just lately I’ve been spending more time at my boyfriend’s flat while he’s out at work. Usually I only hang out there when the two of us are hanging out together, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a change of scene, especially as the weather has been bad and I haven’t really been going out on my own much.

The thing is, I always keep forgetting to take a wheat bag there for when I’m either sore or cold and need warming up. When Rob’s there with me this isn’t a big deal because we have hot water bottles. However me filling one of those up with no one around to help  me would not be a good idea.

It’s a two-handed job and my left hand wouldn’t cope well with trying to hold the hot water bottle steady while I poured the boiling water in. Plus, I’m not strong at all, but my left hand is much weaker than my right and sometimes I even struggle to carry a thick-ish book with it, so I would probably drop the hot water bottle in the process too.

As I’m never usually anywhere without a trusty wheat bag, I started to realise just how much I miss them when I don’t have them.

I really must remember to buy one to keep there.

 

 

Feeling the cold

It’s definitely getting colder in the UK now and I am most definitely feeling the difference. On days where I’ve still been wearing dresses, I’ve also had my socks on over the top because my feet often feel the cold more than anywhere else.

That said, my legs always feel it too, especially the upper half above the knee, (which, as it happens, is probably the place I get the most pain when I’m on my period too.)

For the last couple of days I’ve either been sat with a blanket over them or with a wheatbag on my knee to try keep warm.

Today, I’m noticing it more than ever because it felt like the cold had worked its way right down into my bones this morning. The wheatbag approach didn’t really help, but a hot shower did so I can’t complain.

Continue reading “Feeling the cold”

And so the cold weather begins

It’s cold today. I’m cold. It’s raining pretty hard too. Today is the coldest I’ve felt in a while. We’ve had a pretty wonderful summer in the UK this year, or we have in my neck of the woods at least. We’ve actually had sun, and heat. I love the warm weather. I don’t do well in the cold. It makes me seize up, makes my muscles tighter, and makes the aches and pains that come along with my Cerebral Palsy that little bit more prominent and that little bit worse. It might be getting closer to the season to be jolly, but in Nic Land tis already the season to get working extra hard on my stretches to keep my muscle tightness at bay.

This morning I got up, got dressed, put my dressing gown back on and got back into bed with my laptop to write this post and work on editing my novel and keep warm. It’s probably not that cold really, but I’m also full of cold so I’m probably feeling it a bit more.

If my mum were home, she’d probably tell me to put the heating on, but I think I’ll just stay in my cocoon for now. I’m not too tight today as it happens, but today I am reminded that winter will be here before too long.

Preparing for winter

This year, I plan on starting to prepare for winter early. No, I don’t mean that I’m going to pretend that I’m a squirrel and bury lots of acorns and nuts in the garden; nor I am going to be like a bird and fly south for the season (although, I won’t lie, a holiday would be great right now). Ah, a girl can dream…

No, what I mean is that I’m going to try and get into some habits now that I’m hoping will stop the cold weather from having such a big impact on me this time around. I’m not a professional doctor or physiotherapist, nor do I pretend to be, so I’m not sure if making an extra effort this my physiotherapy now will make me less achy in the winter, but I figure it’s something that I should probably start doing anyway, because as I’ve said time and time again, I know I don’t do as much as I should.

The end of last year things seemed a lot worse than normal because it was far more bitter than I remember it being for a long time. When I get cold, my legs get tight and my muscles ache more than usual. I tend to spend a lot of winter using my wheelchair rather than my walking frame because it’s more comfortable that way. Plus, if we have snow, there’s just no way that the tiny front wheels on Martha will cut through it all, and I don’t want to risk slipping on any ice either. This just means trying to do as much more physio as I can at home to make up for the shortfall in exercise.

At the beginning of this year, things started bothering me enough for me to give my physiotherapist a call and make a set of appointments. I had around six spread out of the course of the next few months and she finally discharged me again a couple of weeks ago. More on that later.

So, it’s only September but there’s already a chill creeping into the air, and I’ve noticed that my legs and hips are already starting to show their dislike for it, especially first thing in the morning and the last thing at night as I’m trying to drift off to sleep. I’ve decided that if I start working hard now and paying more attention to my stretches sooner rather than later, I’ll, (hopefully), have got into the habit by the time the worst of the cold hits so having to work harder might not seem like such a chore.

Although I need the help of another person to do some of the bigger ones, there are lots of little things that I can do for myself that I’m hoping will help, like spending more time lying on my stomach for half an hour while I watch TV or read a book get a good stretch out, and it feels like my wheat bags barely have time to go cold before I’m reheating them again (I’m sat with one under my knees as I type). This is to help keep me warm as much as it is to sooth my muscles. Oh, and I’m going to have to remember to keep on to top my physio too. I’m pretty sure that will do me some good, no matter what time of year it is.

I am aware that wheatbags might not be suitable for everyone to use, or help everyone. I’m not a medical professional so I can’t offer advice on when a person might like to use one or when it might not be suitable for them. This is a reflection on how they help me personally only.

Feel free to help keep me on the straight and narrow by leaving me note in the comments section, or on Facebook and Twitter, from time to time.